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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  December 21, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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yea! ich means tomorrow's better. and it means that the day after that is better than that. so join with me seasonal affected north americans in recognizing that the best new thing in our half of the world today is something that has a if it feels like politics is more childish than ever, you're not alone. tonight's show is brought to you by the letters "w," "s" and "j" and the number 40. >> john boehner is defending himself this morning after a blistering article in "the wall street journal" asserts house republicans may be handing the election to president obama. >> basically, house republicans are making sure that president obama gets another four years. >> the article in "the wall street journal" really slamming them for this fight. >> that's "the wall street journal." this is not a liberal opinion page. >> i think "the wall street journal" has it exactly right. >> buckle up, republicans, "the wall street journal" is coming at you, we have water coming on the ship. >> we have mitch mcconnell
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silenced which is deafening. did john boehner fumble this? >> you have to see republicans are in a corner. >> what this underscores is the war within the republican party right now. >> the house republicans initially were against a one-year extension, now they're for this one-year extension. >> is this because speaker boehner can't count, or is it simply that he is now utterly powerless because the congress is run by extremists and will pursue their agenda even if it ruins the lives of 160 americans? >> a lot of these neophytes in congress, it's not that they don't get it. they don't care. they literally were elected to come here and blow the place up. >> boehner has been in trouble since the day he walked in with this group. >> here's boehner's problem. eric cantor is stabbing that guy in the back. >> we're just a little ways away from the white house where the president sits. why doesn't he come join us here to try and make this happen? >> this from the same individual whose conduct over the last year
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has virtually ruined every attempt at compromise. what is the president supposed to do in these circumstances? >> this is a tax cut. this is what the republicans are supposed to be for. >> this is a dog and pony show. it is embarrassing. >> until this weekend, it seemed like a compromise on the payroll tax cut had been achieved. and then house speaker john boehner took that completely reasonable. temporary compromise, passed in the senate with the support of 39 republicans. back to doofenshmirtz. he's a character on one of my favorite children's series, " "phineas and ferb." >> behold, i give you the very, very badinator.
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it's made up of my most evil parts hobbled together without any rhyme or reason, loaded on my floating platform, bring it above the tri-state area and turn it on and see what it does. i have no idea, but it's sure it's going to be bad. >> the house republicans pulled out their own very, very bad-inator this weekend when they rebelled against a temporary extension, unleashing yet again the 11th hour manufactured crisis showdown. but this time just days before the christmas holiday, a holiday that most of them would undoubtedly prefer to be spending with their families, just like president obama would prefer to be with his family in hawaii instead of hanging out in washington with bo and ordering pizza waiting to sign a payroll tax legislation. but the house republicans very very bad-inator is in full effect. and although even their allies are confused about what this bad-inator is trying to accomplish.
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here's what "the wall street journal" editorial said today. "the gop leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for imposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. now, this is no easy double play. republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting president obama positioning himself as an election year tax cutter although he spent most of his presidency promoting tax increases, and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. this should be impossible." now, the backlash against those house republicans, and their very, very bad-inator, speaker john boehner scrambling to attempt some kind of post facto strategy. for that, he pulled out another invention, the least likely-inator, that house republicans actually want to help president obama. now, the president called boehner today, and here's how boehner's office described the conversation.
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"the speaker reminded the president that the house is the only body that had done what he asked for by providing a full year of payroll tax relief and extended unemployment benefits." unsurprisingly, this latest manufactured crisis drags on. the republican presidential candidates are now, you know, being asked to talk about it. and mitt romney pulled out his own doofenshmirtz invention in an interview with chuck todd today. he pulled out the look away-inator designed to make everyone look in another direction. >> i wonder what we're seeing going on in washington right now, this is what your senator, scott brown, he called what the house republicans are doing with this payroll tax holiday irresponsible and wrong. charlie bass will be on. he voted against the republican bill that essentially killed the senate compromise. what say you in this? >> well, we're deep in the weeds. >> look away.
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look away. but chuck was still looking for an answer. >> well, we're deep in the weeds. i mean, should it be a two-month extension? one-year extension? which element should be involved? i hope both the house and the senate, republican and democrats, are able to get this resolved as soon as possible. i'd like to see the payroll tax cut extended. two months is not very long. look, come together. i'm not going to throw gasoline on what is already a fire. what we really need is a president that's a leader that can stand in with the members of both parties and work together on finding a common solution. but this president had been intent on attacking, and attack mode is not the way that a leader tries to get people to work together. >> now, that romney answer reminds me of the episode where dr. doofenshmirtz just says he's in charge and hopes no one will stop him. that's pretty much what romney did in that answer, demanding leadership while refusing to define what that leadership would actually look like or do.
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but in fairness, this isn't a mitt romney-exclusive problem. it's a republican party problem. in the 20th century, certainly for the second half of the 20th century, the republicans knew what they were and what they supported. they defended private property. they believed in a competitive economy as the best solution to collective problems. they were practical rather than imaginative. they were managers. that was really their brand. they were also executives. just look at the republicans' overwhelming dominance of the white house throughout the second half of the last century. nixon, reagan and bush 41 won with enormous margins. they were strategic. look at newt gingrich's orchestrated takeover of the house in 1994. now, do any of those descriptors, practical, managerial, executive describe what you're seeing right now with the payroll tax cut fight? the house republicans have walked away from a tax cut. and they've walked away from a tax cut because they just want
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to give democratic president obama what he asked for? which begs the question, what defines the 21st century republican party besides doofenshmirtz. joining me is eugene robinson, columnist for "the washington post" and analyst. nice to see you, gene. >> good to see you, melissa. >> so what has happened to the republican brand? i mean, if they are not the tax-cutting small-government get off your back guys, who are they? >> well, that's a good question. they are at least -- there are at least two republican parties. there's the republican party or what's the remnant of the republican party that you described with those positive adjectives, executive and strategic, the kind of establishment republican party. and john boehner is kind of a holdover from that era, although obviously he's not the most adroit executive or manager that they have. and there's the other republican
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party which is the tea party, the extremely ideological republican party that did come to town to blow the town up, essentially, and that does not care. does not care that it is inconveniencing and perhaps really damaging the party's electoral prospects, both long term and potentially short term. >> but if there are two parties, then romney is certainly of that older and orderly kind of gop republican party. so what do you think of romney's response to chuck todd today? i mean, he's got cover from plenty of republicans including mitch mcconnell, scott brown, "the wall street journal." why take this position instead of a more reasonable, responsible one? >> because look at romney's numbers. romney's trying to win this nomination. and the energy and enthusiasm is in the tea party wing of the party.
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and romney's numbers for months and months now have been essentially flat-lined at around 25% of republican primary voters. they are sold. they are going to vote for him. but the rest of the party is looking around. and they've looked at all the non-mitt candidates in succession. and he's got to be concerned that even as some of the air starts to leak out of the newt gingrich bubble, that who knows? somebody else might pop up. this may not be the end of that. he doesn't have this wrapped up yet. and so he has to be careful essentially in this sort of fight that they're having to say as little as possible. to give as anodyne response as you could possibly imagine, and that's kind of what he did. >> look, given that this feels like a congressional battle, congress eating itself, particularly the republicans in
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congress battling one another, is this an early holiday gift for the president? i mean, could he ask for anything better than what's happening at this moment in terms of thinking about his own re-election? >> i think, you know, he would say santa has already been very, very good to president obama. what's really significant about this fight is that, look. over the last couple of years, especially, republicans have been so unified, so in lockstep, at least when it comes time to vote. we all know that they have different views and that there are these two wings, but they have voted as a bloc in both houses of congress. they've been very successful at essentially imposing their will. and now for the first time, you have prominent republicans in the senate and some in the house who publicly disagree with the direction of the party, saying this is damaging, this is awful. the split coming out in the open and potentially becoming sharper and more pronounced, i think, is the best sort of christmas gift the democratic party could have
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wished for, actually. it lays bare something that was already there, but it changes the dynamic in washington in a significant way. >> right. and the next thing that will be happening are these early primaries and caucuses. eugene robinson, thank you so much for joining me tonight. >> great to be here, melissa. happy holidays to you. >> thanks. to you, too. coming up, the direct impact of the payroll tax cut on everyday life. $40 a week can make a big difference to families that are struggling to make ends meet. and heckled today in iowa, down in the polls? newt gingrich's new political struggles. e.j. dionne has been in iowa, and he predicts there could be a big surprise for the caucus. he joins me later.
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about $40 less every paycheck. now, if you're living in john boehner's congressional district, that's about a tank of gas. think about what $40 means to you. that's what the white house has asked people to do via twitter. "$40 means getting my insulin monthly and my husband his inhaler." todd, $40 fills a prescription for a senior who needs it. and hugo from california wrote, $40 means one less dinner or purchase at a monrovia store. it ripples negatively from there. hugo's right. it does. this isn't just about an individual having an extra $40 in a paycheck. this is money that's spent in communities. in jackson, mississippi, for example, and this is rough math. with about 9700 households in the $50,000 to $75,000 income
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range, that extra $40 means $389,000 into the jackson economy every two weeks. every year, it's about $10 million. $10 million in a local economy every year. $40 doesn't sound like much, but i bet $10 million does. i take an omega for my heart. but to be honest, i find the omega choices overwhelming. which one is right for me? then i found new pronutrients omega-3. it's from centrum, a name i trust. it goes beyond my heart to support my brain and eyes too. and these ultra-concentrated minigels are much smaller than many others. it's part of a whole new line of supplements. there's probiotic and fruit & veggie too. new pronutrients from centrum helps make nutrition possible.
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i have to confess, the iowa race has gotten to be a real mess. my good friends have brought about $7 million or $8 million in advertising.
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we'll just keep going forward. >> that, of course, was newt gingrich speaking in new hampshire today. and the speaker is right, the iowa race is a mess. attack ads against gingrich and his opponents have helped create an environment in iowa where less than two weeks till the caucuses, republicans still have yet to coalesce around a candidate. they are still searching for that principled republican who possesses that certain something, that huckabee that captures the imagination of the median iowa caucusgoer. now, last month, iowans thought they had found that candidate in herman cain. that's right. in early november, herman cain led the field with 25% support. then, of course, iowans and the rest of us found out that he liked to hit on women who were not his wife, and he also didn't know which one gadhafi is. so iowans gave newt gingrich a spin. in late november he surged to the top of the polls in iowa. then iowans learned he profited from freddie mac, and they remembered that the house of
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representatives reprimanded him for ethics violations. the results today, a new poll of likely iowa caucusgoers shows ron paul leading gingrich. romney polled third with 18% and perry, fourth with 11%. guess what happened today. reports resurfaced that ron paul published newsletters in the late '80s and early '90s that included controversial and often racist statements. >> i didn't write them. i didn't read them at the time. and i disavow them. that is the answer. >> well, it's just a question -- i mean, it's legitimate. it's legitimate. these things are pretty incendiary, you know. >> because of people like you. >> no, no, no, no. come on. some of the stuff was very incendiary. you know, saying that in 1993, the israelis were responsible for the bombing of the world trade center, that kind of stuff. all right. >> come on. >> cain, gingrich, now paul. iowans might soon realize that
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they aren't going to find their principled republican, and they'll just have to settle for the most handsome, most sober guy at the bar, mitt romney. another poll has mitt romney leading iowa with 25%. paul is second. newt has spent his last few days on the campaign trail going after romney for not telling pro-romney super pacs to stop telling iowa voters the various reasons not to vote for newt. today on msnbc romney responded. >> i know they'd like to tell the speaker, we shouldn't have any negativity. if you can't handle the heat from this little kitchen, the heat that's going to come from obama's hell kitchen is going to be a lot hotter. >> you want to test the heat, i'll meet him anywhere in iowa next week one on one, 90 minutes, no moderator, just the
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timekeeper. so let's test this kitchen. i'm happy. i'll go to the kitchen. you recognize mr. romney. would he like to come play in the kitchen? i don't think so. i can take the heat plenty well. i think i'll do just fine with the heat from barack obama. >> one on one here in "the last word's" hot kitchen is" washington post" columnist, brookings institute fellow, just returning from washington after three days covering candidates in iowa. thanks for being here. >> good to be with you. literally just off the plane. it was late. >> wow! i'm glad you made it, e.j. >> i am, too. >> you wrote in "the washington post," apparently filing as you were landing that santorum has going for him what's been going against him until now which is that he hasn't emerged as a top candidate. so are you telling the american people at this moment that rick santorum might, in fact, end up winning or placing in the top couple of candidates in the iowa
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caucuses? >> first of all, in this race anything you say is both questionable and plausible. so i should say that right up front. but i think a couple of things have happened to santorum. first, precisely because he has been running behind. he hasn't had to take the attack ads. he obviously hasn't had the same kind of scrutiny. and he's just been chipping away, going to every county in iowa, running a very christian conservative-oriented campaign, and he picked up the endorsement of two very prominent christian conservatives yesterday. and so it feels like in iowa, and you see some movements in the polls. one of those polls you showed has him in double digits. i think that's really happening in iowa is that everyone is bunched. the difference between the top and the sixth place candidate is really quite small right now. so, for example, in romney's case, the conservative vote or the non-romney vote could get so split up that he actually has a chance of winning.
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it's also the case that if he loses a little ground, he could come in, say, fourth. it's that fluid right now in iowa. and i think most of the political people i talked to including a lot of caucusgoers at these events who are kicking around one, two, maybe three candidates, everybody feels it is just not settled yet. >> so i know you noah with a extremely well. when i think about iowa caucusgoers both on the democratic and republican side, it's always my sense that they take it very seriously. this role is kind of first in the nation. and that one of the reasons paul moved up to the front was this sense that, you know, even if you don't agree with him, this guy is principled. we know what he stands for. he's not a flip-flopper. he will give consistent answers. but this sort of re-release of these clearly racially inflammatory newsletters from a couple of decades ago, how is that playing in iowa now? is that undercutting the sense that he is the principled candidate? >> to be honest, those were
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released as i was making my way out on this extended plane fight. what you do have are a lot of more establishment or more hawkish republicans going after paul. because what he's got is a very enthusiastic organization. everybody in every campaign acknowledges that he may have the best organization in the state. he's got this rock-solid group of libertarian republicans who just won't leave him. and now he's been adding to that some of the tea party republicans who like what he says the anti-government stuff he says. and a handful of people who actually do agree with this noninterventionist foreign policy. so now you've got the establishment hitting back. w.h.o. is the big conservative radio station in des moines. and caller after caller is calling in to trash ron paul's foreign policy. so you clearly have one wing of the conservative movement very worried about paul right now.
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>> so there is one last candidate, and that's huntsman. is there any possibility there, you think, for him to rise to the front? >> well, not in iowa. i think huntsman has a real shot of surprising us in new hampshire because in new hampshire, independents can cross over into the republican primary. and there is no competitive democratic primary this year. so i think huntsman could have a surprise this. perry, as your numbers showed, is also creeping up a little bit because he's spending a ton of money in iowa on both radio and television. and he's working the state very hard. iowa's his last chance. >> e.j. dionne, as always, thank you for your insights. >> it's good to be with you. >> thanks. now, a young man from iowa has the honor of being the most viewed political video of the year. and in his case, being on the list is, in fact, an honor. we'll analyze the good, the bad and the ugly from 2011 with "the onion." and sarah palin and fox news are now attacking president
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obama over his family's holiday card. i so wish i were kidding, but i'm not. vacation, so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates. my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪ now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science.
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fox news is taking the war on christmas to a whole new level. now the obama holiday card is the problem because it features a picture of first dog, bo. sarah palin doesn't like the message that that sends. and we'll have a big, big christmas surprise to reveal to lawrence. he'll join us later when we
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reveal the latest news on the efforts to get desks to school kids in malawi.
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stay take a look at the 2011 obama family holiday card. inside it reads, "from our family to yours, may your holiday shine with the light of the season." after seeing this obviously subversive greeting, fox news published an article titled, "no christmas in white house holiday card." and the first line reads, "the official white house holiday card makes no mention of the word christmas and instead focused on bo, the first dog, based on the wishes of the first family." no love for bo, fox news? let's take a look at how fox news celebrated the holidays on air this afternoon. >> merry christmas, allegra. >> what do you plan to do over the holidays, maryann? >> i'm going to be spending it with family. >> very nice. >> and allegra will be there. >> i'm looking for one of these. love the dog.
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>> sarah palin weighed in on the christmas card controversy, telling fox news that she found the card, quote, odd. and that it doesn't represent american traditional values like family, faith and freedom. i'm sorry, what exactly does freedom have to do with christmas? the story is about a young jewish woman pregnant out of wedlock. the story says submitting more to authority than submitting to religious freedom. palin went on to say what most americans really want for christmas is american foundational values displayed on a christmas tree. ah, yes, the christmas tree, co-opted by christians in the seventh century. it is love but not exactly biblical. this card seems aware of the obvious fact that president obama is the president of all
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americans. perhaps this card is an invitation to think about the white house as the people's house and as a place to gather in celebration. the card encourages us to see ourselves in the white house, the symbolic home for all americans. instead of an ostentatious tree, it seems appropriate. joining me now is jonathan capehart. nice to see you tonight. >> hey, melissa, great to see you. >> can we pause for a moment? >> please. >> i notice the dog is a different color. >> no. >> i just wanted to ask is, here's one of ronald reagan's
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cards from 1984. where's the christmas in that? here's president bush's card from -- what was their dog's name? beasley? and a rabbit. that symbolizes freedom. >> so what do you think is going on here, seriously. is there something substantive a way to attack it, there's nothing substantive here, but it does play into this mantra, this theme out there that president
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obama and the first family, particularly the president, is outside of the american mainstream, that he is another. we just went through an entire year where lots of people believed the conspiracy theory that president obama is not an american citizen and therefore occupying the oval office illegally. we've spent a lot of time talking about whether the president is not a secret closet muslim, you know, a sleeper cell, if you will. it's all part of part and parcel of a project to portray the president as somehow un-american. this is also part of an effort. this is not the first time she's taken off after president obama or i should say the obama family. remember, she went after the first lady twice. once during her reality, or her let's move initiative by saying
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it. another time she said no wonder mrs. obama is trying to get women to breast-feed because milk prices are so high. really the mean girl in high school. >> but let's pause on that, though, this idea of christmas as a symbol of the average christmas tree cost which is just about the money people would get from the payroll tax cuts.
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>> for the next 12 days or something like that. >> isn't it a way of being that way? >> sarah palin picks and chooses her battles in a very strange way sf, and quite frankly, they're focusing on the card and not actually what's in the white house itself. right now the president and the first family and the white house staff, for the last month, have had people in and out of the white house, and their christmas tree is all over the main floor of the white house, so this is a nonissue. >> in fact, one of them is a veteran's tree has really focusing the men and women contributing to our efforts. >> that's faith, family and freedom if you ask me. >> jonathan capehart, thanks for joining me.
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the youtube clip of zach walls defending his two mothers beat out obama. from "the onion" to talk to us about the best and worst of 2011. lauren well tell you. the response. but my nose is sti. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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you can even take a full-size or above and still pay the mid-size price. here we are... [ male announcer ] and there you go, business pro. there you go. go national. go like a pro. he needs almost no introduction. herman cain's smoking campaign manager is one of the most viewed political videos of the year. "the list" is next.
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for a hot dog cart. my mother said, "well, maybe we ought to buy this hot dog cart and set it up someplace." so my parents went to bank of america. they met with the branch manager and they said, "look, we've got this little hot dog cart, and it's on a really good corner. let's see if we can buy the property." and the branch manager said, "all right,
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i will take a chance with the two of you." and we've been loyal to bank of america for the last 71 years. good evening, mr. chairman. my name is zach walls. i'm a sixth generation iowan and an engineering student at the university of iowa. and i was raised by two women. my family really isn't so different from yours. after all, your family doesn't derive its sense of worth by being told by the state, you're married, congratulations. no, the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. it comes from the love that binds us. that's what makes a family. >> that video of zach walls making the case for marriage equality was uploaded in february of this year. youtube says the video has been viewed nearly 16 million times. even iowa's republican legislature took notice, halting their attempt to reverse the iowa supreme court decision to make gay marriage legal.
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it also makes it the number one political video on youtube this year. on the opposite side of the issue, an ad released by rick perry's campaign on december 6th has rocketed all the way to number three on the top ten list with 7 million hits. >> you don't need to be in the pew every sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate christmas. >> rick perry actually made the list twice. his debut presidential campaign ad, proven leadership is at number seven. and you can probably guess which other campaign ad made it onto the list. ♪ i am america ♪ united we stand ♪ i am america ♪ one hope >> i'm sorry. herman cain's smoking ad was uploaded on october 19th and
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comes in at number nine. just ahead of republican attack ad aimed at president obama which came in at ten. and the president makes the list twice. number four is the death of osama bin laden and number two, his remarks at the white house correspondents dinner. >> in an episode, they did not impress the judges from omaha steaks. there was a lot of blame to go around. you, mr. trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. so ultimately you didn't blame little john or meatloaf. you fired gary busey. and these are the kind of decisions that will keep me up at night. >> joining me now, of course, is author of a book i enjoyed so
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much, "how look, i was looking at the mccain ads, almost all of them were funny even when they weren't meant to be. does this mean our politics is ab certificate? where reality, how serious we should we sink into a depression
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for the next several generations? even the payroll tax stuff that's happening now, it's also a little disheartening. so number one was positive and serious, but i wanted to ask you about this as well. there's at least two individuals >> my kid is celebrating no problem. >> then you're a real american. i congratulate you. most of these kids are suffering in a -- there, why is it not showing up in a serious place? why
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>> from the comedian's perspective, you want to reach the audience. we don't have to go through media. so why would i do that? so that's the rick perry method. also wear a baek lathe, only for the super movie with your potential voters using these new tools. it's also less accountable. there's no moderator that will call you on it. you throw it out there and say my staffer did it. you disable comments or rates
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and say move on our attention. it's on their hunting routes. that was last week. you already we're. >> good luck. i hope people have the audience. mine, however, free. merry christmas, happy kwanzaa. up next, we'll talk about something seriously the response from the viewers, you, has been
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much more kind, and lawrence is in for a big surprise. ♪ ♪ you, you ain't alone ♪ and just let me be [ male announcer ] this is your moment. ♪ your ticket home ♪ [ male announcer ] this is zales, the diamond store.
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♪ when i be an accountant, i also have done what mr. o'donnell has done, to help the poor, needy in my country, my life. >> do you see yourself as becoming a leader? >> maybe i'll be. >> those are the malawi children you are helping when you donate to the k.i.n.d. fund, k.i.n.d., kinds in need much desks, a
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special partnership between msnbc and unicef that helps malawi students who sit on dirt floors for seven hours a day just to learn. house republicans claim $40 doesn't mean much. well, for $48, you can pick up a child off the floor and put them into a desk. to the last worddesks.msnbc.com. or call 1-800-for-kids. joining me is lawrence o'donnell himself. >> good to be here. >> hi, lawrence. how you doing? >> i'm great. how are you? >> good. i'm particularly excited because i can give your big reveal, your big surprise. so since your last report on last night's program, the k.i.n.d. fund has raised $305,274 just overnight and today. and that brings the new total of the k.i.n.d. fund to $3,259,316
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since the program started. >> well, that's the biggest overnight we've had since we started this year. that's an amazing number. the truth is, as you do this normally over time, the overnight numbers decline. we just had a huge surge last night. i knew we were less than $50,000 away last night from $3 million. and i went to bed hoping for the $3 million, but it easily could have not happened. this is astonishing. this is $3,250,000, this is incredible. you know, that boy you saw at the beginning who talked about wanting to become an act accountant? he told me a year, year and a half ago that he wanted to be an accountant. when i met him, he was sitting on the floor trying to write math on his legs.
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there was no hard surface under him. he had never seen a desk in a classroom. now he's spent a year in a lass room. it's really an amazing chain. >> your insights there of just thinking about what it means for a young man to have grown, what this must mean about what kind of year he's having. i think this is part of what resonates with the story. my own daughter who is 10 actually cried watching you make the appeal last week like in a very honest, open way. she got what the story is. what is it that you think kind of strikes people about this story of kids trying to do the work but sitting on the floor to do it? >> kids get the simplicity of it. your daughter spends her day at a desk in a classroom, as does mine. they get it easily. high school students, elementary students. it's a simple and pure and
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undeniable good that we can do. these desks will be made by workers in malawi using malawi and african resources. and they will be delivered, and these kids will work on these desks. and it will instantly change their lives in the classroom. it's real. and so there are other things that you can donate money to where you kind of hope it will work. you hope the objective will be reached. people should be donated to those kind of causes. i think what this reflects for many people a quick, easy give is the clear understanding that what they're going to send the money for is really going to work. it really is going to do what it hopes to do. >> i want to go back to your point about the workers making these disks. we're seeing this video. we were talking about the economic effect of not having the extra $40. this is the butterfly effect of
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providing the opportunity for jobs here. talk to me about who's actually making these desks? >> they were small little woodworking shops, really. one of them was expanding to a whole new location taking on many, many more workers. and i've been to some of the workers' homes. it completely changed their world. they're not the only people who have been busy. unicef has been overwhelmed with calls and online ordering. they've had to hire extra workers to take on the extra donations. people who have been working at customer service at unicef have just been fantastic this last week. >> lawrence, thank you for having a heart for encouraging all of us to do this. thank you for letting me hang out tonight and for being a guest on your own show. >> thank you for the night off, melissa. thank you very, very much. >> t

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